There is common Mexican informal expression "güey/buey" (written as "wey" in text).

  • Where did it come from?
  • Since when did it become a common expression?


  1. A que güey estás. (You are so dumb.)
  2. Aquel güey siempre esta descansando. (That guy is always resting.)
  3. Oye güey que hiciste ayer. (What did you do yesterday?)
  4. Si güey. (Yes.)
  5. No güey. (No.)
  • 3
    I've always heard "güey", not "buey". Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:08
  • I've seen "buey" used in the Spanish from Spain as well.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:08
  • I think both are used interchangeable. RAE have entries for both. Although when we speak it it sounds like güey. Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 17:16
  • I believe that it has a lot to do with the influence of bullfighting, as a castrated bull (buey) would be docile and easy to guide, being used to farm the land and thus asociated with the idea of dumbness - El que por su gusto es buey, hasta la coyunda lame. And güey/wey is a deformation. Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 19:17
    – Jose Luis
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


According to the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua (Mexican Academy of Language), güey is a deformation of "buey" (from Lat. bos, bovis). However, a common trend in Mexican Spanish is for simple words to become very complex terms that change meaning depending on context. Güey may mean stupid, friend, enemy, asshole, deranged, courageous, and a host of terms that are inconsistent most of the time. It can be used as derogatory or superlative.

But it's origin could also be the Náhuatl word "uey", or "huey"*

  • Buey translates to ox (typically a castrated bull) in English.
    – Jaime Soto
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 23:48

In Mexican border culture, "guey" is the common term for a jackass, in the familiar form, it shows trust between two men to be able to say "What's up asshole?" It is also yet less often used as a derogatory term.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, depending on the person doing the name calling can earn you anything from a brutal beat down to a slug in the mug, literally. It is pronounced "way" as in which way. Using crude derogatory terms here is how we enforce "rank" and a display of power in front of peers.

To let it get to you in front of others is to show weakness and will usually earn you more of the same or wain of salt and reorse. To accept it with grain of salt return the favor quickly with a little extra spice can ean you respect instead of scorn.

  • Where you write "same or wain of salt and reorse" should it be "same or grain of salt and worse"? Though even that wording wouldn't read very clearly for me. Commented Nov 27, 2011 at 10:13

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